2 Samuel 23:10 (ESV)
10 He rose and struck down the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clung to the sword. And the Lord brought about a great victory that day, and the men returned after him only to strip the slain. (Emphasis mine)
I have to be absolutely honest that I have days where I feel weary. To put it bluntly, there are times I feel like just quitting. Why:
- Because of unmet expectations.
- Because of the simple exhaustion associated with starting and pastoring a church.
- Because of the time away from my family at times.
- Being spent emotionally from dealing with messy, relational, and common situations associated with people from an unchurched background.
As I was doing my morning Bible reading through the Old Testament, I came across chapter 23 of 2 Samuel where the list is given of David’s Mighty men. As I was reading down the list, I came across the Mighty Man named Eleazar and it described him as one who stood against the Philistines although “the men of Israel withdrew.” He fought alone and “struck down the Philistines until his hand was weary”. The next phrase hit me between the eyes! “and his hand clung to the sword.” I am not sure of the writer’s intent in the next sentence, but I get the idea that because of his “intestinal fortitude” and willingness to stay put in the battle and not let go of his sword, the “Lord brought about a great victory that day.”
I want my hand to “cling” to the sword. Although I feel like giving up at times, I will not. I know that I would miss out on what God is going to do in the life of Church at the Grove. We all must keep a firm grip upon our swords. It is God’s battle and not ours. He simply asks for faithfulness.
What do you do as a church planter when you feel like quitting?
- Return to the vision that God gave you from the beginning to impact your community, the world, and the people around you that are unchurched, unconvinced and disconnected from God.
- Remember the faces of those original team members that gave you their commitment to join you in sharing the love of Jesus with people in the community. They are counting on you and your leadership.
- Be inspired by the champions of faith in scripture like Eleazar. Spend time in God’s Word and allow God to inspire you.
- Surround yourself with modern champions that can offer practical wisdom and encouragement when you need it.
- Be reminded that your family comes first and they are watching you.
- Be reminded of God’s goodness, God’s faithfulness, and God’s sovereignty over your situation.
- Remember that your significance comes from God alone. Your long term success is dependent upon how the people closest to you respect you over the long haul. Will your spouse and children look to you as a spiritual role-model? That is more important than reaching the world!
- Do the best you can with what you have and trust God with the rest.
- “Cling” your hand to the sword!